Completed Research

Eliminating Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV

University of Toronto

The mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rate of HIV in Thailand, at its worst, was over 20 per cent. Between 2000–2015, the MTCT rate decreased by over 90 per cent through improved antenatal care, antiretroviral therapy, service delivery and, monitoring and surveillance. Civil society organizations played a critical role in advocating for health services to reach everyone, everywhere.

The Hard to Reach

HIV positive pregnant women in Thailand.

Key Takeaways

In 2015, Thailand was the first Asian country to eliminate MTCT of HIV.

  1. Thailand has built a progressively more inclusive and universal health system from the sub-district level to the national center. Local outreach ensures pregnant women enter into the health system and receive the information and care they require. Antenatal care, HIV testing and counselling among pregnant women have also become universal.
  2. Thailand’s success in reducing MTCT highlights the importance of comprehensive and precise monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance. The precision ensures interventions are reaching those in need and that the interventions are effective in addressing MTCT.
  3. We see the government taking extraordinary steps to ensure all citizens have access to health services and generic antiretroviral medicines under the Universal Coverage Scheme.


This research was made possible through the Reach Alliance, a partnership between the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. Research was also funded by the Canada Research Chairs program and the Ralph and Roz Halbert Professorship of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. The authors of this report would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to those we met and interviewed in Thailand, including government officials, front-line health professionals, civil society activists, and scholars. Your work and dedication are inspiring.

This research was vetted and received approval from the Ethics Review Board at the University of Toronto.